Physics of Astronomy
updated 1.June.2004 pm

This intermediate program will be offered Winter and Spring of 2003-04. Upper division, up to 16 credits per quarter. Program descriptions: catalog, Winter, Spring.

PHOTOS of students at American Physical Society meeting, calculations on Red Square and Sean's artwork

The first class meeting is Monday 5.Jan.2004 at 1:00 in the Physics homeroom, Lab II Rm 2242.

Physics of Astronomy is a one-time program, including elements of Physical Systems (which will be offered again in two years). Physics of Astronomy is designed to be accessible for students who have had just one year of calculus-based physics (e.g. M&M).. This program will also be useful for physics students who need upper-division physics before 05-06, as we will treat advanced material at a less intense pace. We will use our unifying theme of Astrophysics to motivate deeper studies in related areas of physics, choosing appropriate supporting chapters from the physics and math texts below. (Overview of Evergreen's physics and math programs).

For more information, contact Dr. Zita by email <>, as she is on leave in fall and will be out of town during Academic Fair. Please include "Physics Of Astronomy" in the subject header.  Please see these Answers to frequently asked questions.
TEXTS: get the most recent edition, if there is a newer one than listed below. Please order these from the publisher or another online source such as Powell's in advance so you have them the first day of class. That is cheaper and often more reliable. There may be a few copies of each text available at higher prices in the college bookstore. 

Our primary text, required the first day, to be used both quarters. 

An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics, by Bradley W. Carroll, Dale A. Ostlie, Julie Berisford (Editor), Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201547309; 1st edition (1996). Online resources

Required supporting texts, to be used both quarters, starting as early as the first week.

Physics and Math:
Astronomy & Cosmology:

Introduction to Electrodynamics by David J. Griffiths, Prentice Hall; ISBN: 013805326X; 3rd edition (1999).  You may get this for a discount directly from the publisher at

NEWS 18 Nov.2003: This is our E&M text for sure.

  Universe, Edition 6, by William Kaufmann III and Roger Freedman, 2002, W.H. Freeman, NY, ISBN 0716746476 , pbk. 

Free online resources for students using Universe

Physics for Scientists and Engineers, with Modern Physics, by Douglas C. Giancoli, 3d Ed., 2000, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0130215171. Be SURE to get the version with the extra MODERN PHYSICS chapters at the end, as we will be using those more advanced chapters most extensively.

Free online resources for students using Giancoli

  National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Night Sky 2000, Alfred A. Knopf, NY, ISBN 0-679-40852-5 pbk). This excellent reference text helps you find and understand objects in the sky, and includes classic stories about them.

Also available from Orca books downtown, at a discount, with no shipping charges.
Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences, by Mary L. Boas, 2d Ed., 1983, Wiley, ISBN 0471044091   Introductory Astronomy Exercises, by Dale C. Ferguson, 2001, 2d edition, Brooks/Cole *Thomson Learning, ISBN 0-534-37977-X
Recommended supporting texts. (Please share other suggestions on WebX)
Mathematical Handbook, by Murray Spiegel, Schaum's outline series, McGraw-Hill Trade; 2nd edition (1998), 0070382034   Foundations of Modern Cosmology, by Katherine A. Holcomb & John Frederick Hawley, Oxford University Press; ISBN: 0195104978; (1998)

Seminar is a required component of the Physics of Astronomy and Astronomy and Cosmologies programs. Science Seminar is also open to all interested students; you may take either section or both, for 4 credits each. While there may be copies of some texts on closed reserve in the Library, you must BRING YOUR OWN COPY to class each day.  Take notes in the margins as you read, and the text becomes a record of your developing thoughts. "An unmarked text is an unread text." Seminar Syllabus

SPRING SCIENCE SEMINAR meets in Lib 4004 at 5:00 pm. on Monday 29.March 2004

Please get these from Orca books downtown

THURSDAY 5-6:30 pm:   Astronomy and Celestial Navigation.
Get Burch from Orca or Powell's, and subscribe individually to Sky & Telescope

The Extravagant Universe, by Robsert Kirschner, Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr; (September 11, 2002)
ISBN: 0691058628

A clear and engaging account of the discovery of the accelerating universe, by a respected astrophysicist.


Emergency Navigation, by David Burch, Publisher: International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press; (February 1, 1990)
ISBN: 0071565582

This will be the primary text for our Celestial Navigation workshops on Tuesday evenings.

Norton Anthology of Astronomy and Cosmology, by John North, Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company; (January 1995)
ISBN: 0393036561

Sky and Telescope please buy at a bookshop downtown or subscribe online

Science News will be delivered weekly to your prof, and distributed in class. Cost: $7 for the quarter. Please pay Jenni Walsh, Class treasurer.


WINTER SCIENCE SEMINAR meets in LIB 2221 at 5:00 pm.

News flash Monday 5.Jan.2004: due to the coming storm, evening classes have been canceled today! Hope to see you on Thursday or next Monday. Please do the reading on the Syllabus. Thank you - Zita

MONDAY 5-7 pm:    Books on Time, Relativity, Poincare, Einstein, the process of science:
Please get these from Orca books downtown (unless otherwise noted)

THURSDAY 5-7 pm:   JOURNALS on latest developments in Physics and Astronomy:
We will provide the first issues in class. You will order Physics Today individually, and we'll get the other two as a class. 

The Value of Science: Essential Writings of Henri Poincare, by Henri Poincare, Stephen Jay Gould (Editor) 

Poincare articulated key aspects of special relativity theory before Einstein, and contributed widely in mathematics as well as physics.

Physics Today: To recieve Physics Today, you need to join the Society of Physics Students [SPS]. Subscribe online or downloaded and send in this PDF form. Cost: Membership is $20 for your entire undergraduate career and includes:

  • Physics Today, SPS Observer and Journal of Undergraduate Research in Physics (JURP) delivered to your mailing address.
  • Free membership in one additional AIP Memeber Society for undergraduates only for up to three years.
  • Be sure to join the American Astronomical Society (AAS) as your free membership

Einstein's clocks and Poincare's Maps,  by Peter Louis Galison, W.W. Norton & Company; (August 2003)  ISBN: 0393020010

Sky and Telescope comes with your membership in Evergreen's new Astronomy club. Students are required to purchase a one-year subscription to Sky and Telescope through the club. You will recieve it monthly at your mailing address. We will set up a treasurer in class who will take payment. Cost: $32.95 for 12 issues. Member benefits include a 10% discount on Sky Publishing publications such as books, star atlases, posters, calendars, software and more. S&T online

Recommended supplemental reading: RELATIVITY chapters in our physics texts: Giancoli Ch.37, Carroll & Ostlie Ch.4, Griffiths Ch.12

Science News will be delivered weekly to your prof, and distributed in class. Cost: $0.52 per issue, to be collected with your S&T subscription.

(Thank you to Emily H. for researching pricing and ordering information and assembling web links.)

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Maintained by  E.J. Zita